Just wondering, but does anyone actually own up to being superstitious these days?
I sat down to write today, aware that it’s a Friday 13th – a date many people associate with bad luck – and it struck me that nobody I know seems to admit to having superstitions any more.
We’re all rational beings now, looking for scientific explanations for everything and dismissing as primitive anything that doesn’t lend itself to neat scientific explanation.
I started to consider how superstitious I am. Do black cats crossing my path cause me any concerns? Not especially, unless I’ve had to do an emergency stop to avoid them. Do I avoid stepping on cracks in the pavement, throw spilt salt over my shoulder or poke spoons through the shells of boiled eggs? Nope. And to be honest, I’ve always thought of Friday 13th’s as rather lucky days.
But then, ahem…
…there may just happen to be a horseshoe in my kitchen window, (only for decoration of course). I definitely avoid walking under ladders (common sense surely?). I didn’t let my husband see my wedding dress before our wedding day, I don’t put new shoes on the table, I don’t open umbrellas indoors and I do occasionally speak to single magpies.
Just in case you’re now thinking what a weirdo I am, I’d like to point out that the ravens at the Tower of London have their wings clipped so they can’t fly away because ‘if they do, the Kingdom will fall’ !
By the way, if ravens are your thing, I urge you to follow the Ravenmaster, Chris Skaife, at the Tower on Twitter @ravenmaster1 . He happens to have quite possibly the best job in the world.
What about you? Super-stitious or super-sensible?
The photograph above was taken at Wayland’s Smithy, a neolithic long barrow on the Ridgeway in Oxfordshire, on a very foggy late December afternoon last year (actually our wedding anniversary).
Superstition has it that horses who cast a shoe will be mysteriously re-shod there by Weland the Anglo-Saxon god of metal working in return for a silver coin left on the stones…